Five Examples of Why the ESPN Wide World of Sports is the Perfect Vacation Spot for Sports Lovers
Walt Disney World is home to some of the most thrilling and exciting events and attractions in the country. From fast paced coasters, to fine dining experiences or leisure walking trails, there isn’t much that can’t be found at Walt Disney World. There is even a little something for world-class athletes and those with a love for sports – ESPN Wide World of Sports. What better place to compete or watch sports than the happiest place on earth? In 1995, the Walt Disney Company obtained Capital Cities Communications, ultimately making ESPN a subsidiary of Disney.
Disney immediately got to work in 1997 and opened a complex built for sporting events and practice facilities. The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a two hundred and twenty acre sports facility that can be found in the heart of the World. Facilities include a baseball quadraplex, a champion stadium, a softball diamondplex, a track and field complex sponsored by New Balance, a tennis complex, Jostens’s Center for volleyball and basketball, and many other training and performance facilities. In addition to these venues, the complex offers an Innovation Lab for the advancement to spots technology.
Guests can also spend time in the gift shops or the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill. Walt Disney World is host to over sixty special experiences and sporting events each year. These include the AdvoCare Invitational, the Atlanta Braves Spring Training, the NFL Pro Bowl, and additional Signature Events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Regardless of if you are looking to compete in a world-class facility or just catch a few games or events, the ESPN Wide World of Sports offers something for everyone. Guests can choose from almost any sport imaginable and experience the magic of Disney in a whole new light.
The AdvoCare Invitational is a preseason basketball tournament featuring eight of the best college basketball teams in the country! The tournament takes place over the Thanksgiving weekend in the HP Field House. Twelve games are played within three days in a bracket style competition. Since it is on a non-elimination basis, fans can watch their team compete multiple times due to the winner’s and loser’s brackets. The tournament has been around for eleven years, hosting various teams and fan bases over the years.
Atlanta Braves Spring Training
One of Georgia’s most beloved sports teams takes a month out of their spring schedule to practice at Walt Disney World each year. The Atlanta Braves holds a spring training session at the Champion Stadium ballpark in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex ballpark. Fans and visitors can choose to purchase either single day tickets or a mini plan consisting of multiple game day tickets. The team hosts over ten MLB teams in the complex including the New York Yankees, the Miami Marlins, the Houston Astros, the St. Lewis Cardinals, and the Pittsburg Pirates. The ballpark offers indoors suites, open air terraces, tented patios, and stadium seating for groups of up to ten people. Guests may also take advantage of the Champion Club, which consists of a buffet of ballpark food, drinks, and a private lounging area with reserved game tickets.
National Cheerleading and Dance Championship (UCA/ UCA)
Every year, the Universal Cheerleaders Association and Universal Dance Association College Cheer and Dance teams compete for the national title in Walt Disney World. The most elite teams visit ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in mid-January in hopes of becoming champions. Teams are allowed to enter many different routines, including partner stunts, mascot entries, gymnastics, and group dances. Guests are invited to watch the performances live and cheer on their favorite college team. In addition to the National College Championships, Walt Disney World is also host to the national championships for high school and international teams.
NFL Pro Bowl
Announced in 2016, Orlando, Florida has become the new host of the NFL Pro Bowl. Held in late January, Aquafina presents the NFL Pro Bowl Weekend at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The weekend includes activities for all age groups and every member of the family. Events include Pro Bowl player practices, skill challenges, coach’s sessions, NFL Flag Championships, youth football clinic, and the Women’s World Football Championships. The NFL Pro Bowl Experience is open to everyone free of charge. This festival style celebrations welcomes the year’s Pro Bowl players and includes interactive games, a personalized touchdown dance GIF booth, face painting, virtual reality experiences, photo ops with the trophy of the official Pro Bowl, and more exciting opportunities. The week ends with the Pro Bowl showdown featuring the NFL’s top athletes for the year at Camping World Stadium.
Disney Cup International
For over fifteen years, Walt Disney world has hosted over twenty countries in the Disney Cup International. The tournament brings together both players and fans from many countries together in the happiest place on earth. Held in mid July, each international team plays one game a day in which visitors can watch. This exclusive soccer competition is held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and sponsored by Puma. Boys and girls ages nine through nineteen compete in a tournament consisting of at least three games. Guests can purchase daily admission passes of buy tournament passes for the full length of the event.